Two employees at Beechwood Homes, an Amherst, NY nursing home, were recently convicted for crimes committed while they were supposed to be caring for residents. Kimberly Fay, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), was convicted for stealing hydrocone. Ms. Fay falsely documented discarding tablets of hydrocone in part of a residents’ chart. Instead of discarding the narcotics, she took them for personal use.
Onjelque Harris, a certified nurse’s aide (CNA), failed to toilet a resident. She then falsely documented she did provide the toileting care. As a result of the resident not being toileted, she was found covered in feces with blistered skin.
Many of the cases our firm handles involve falls and fractures suffered by residents of New York nursing homes. The causes of the falls range from the staff’s failure to answer a resident’s call bell, to failing to properly assess a resident for his/her need to be toileted, to failing to order the use of alarms in the bed or wheelchair, to failing to have enough staff. While not all falls are preventable, we believe nursing homes should be held accountable in instances where the appropriate nursing practices are not carried out.
In its most recent New York State Department of Health dated October 8, 2015, Beechwood Home was cited for 56 violations (statewide average was 35).
One of the violations involved the facility’s failure to avoid accidents. Under federal regulations, 42 CFR 483.25(h), nursing home facilities in the United States “must ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.”
As part of the 10/8/15 survey the NYS Department of Health found that Beechwood Homes did not ensure that each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents. In one instance, a resident was transferred from a chair in his/her room to a wheelchair without the use of a gait belt. The resident’s care plan called for the use of the belt during any transfers. The resident was being transferred in order to get to the dining room.
Many of our cases involve falls where staff members fail to transfer (whether from chair to bed or bed to chair) a resident using the proper protocol. If a loved one has suffered a fall and sustained an injury at a nursing home, please do not hesitate to contact the New York Nursing Home Attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC.